Holton: Why I Don’t Have Much Faith in Robert Mueller

Terror Trends Bulletin, by Christopher Holton, May 18, 2017:

Robert Mueller has been appointed as a special prosecutor to investigate alleged Russian influence operations involving the 2016 US elections.

I don’t have a strong opinion on that investigation, but I do believe that all the fawning over Robert Mueller that I have seen the past 24 hours is…well…unwarranted.

That’s because I was thoroughly unimpressed by his tenure as FBI director. When selected by George W. Bush to head the FBI on 4 September 2001–one week before 9/11–the word on Mueller was that he was someone who was selected because he would not rock the boat or make too many sweeping changes.

If ever there was a wake up call to make sweeping changes, it came on 11 September 2001 and America was saddled with a guy leading the FBI who was chosen because he was a “safe” pick.

On Mueller’s watch the FBI bumbled some key counterjihad initiatives.

First of all, the FBI purged counterterrorism training materials that referred to terms like “Jihad” or “Islam” on Mueller’s watch. These decisions were arrived at because Mueller had a “stuck on stupid” habit of conducting outreach with Muslim Brotherhood operatives, some of whom winded up in jail.

Secondly, speaking of Russians, the Russians warned the FBI about the Tsarnaev brothers who then bombed the Boston Marathon and then went on a two-man jihad in the Boston area. The FBI did essentially zilch about them despite the warnings and even conducted outreach with the Boston area mosque co-founded by a man convicted on terrorism charges and described by the Justice Department as the primary Al Qaeda financier in America.

These are hardly indications of a competent guy.

Congressman Louis Gohmert was particularly tenacious in his periodic grilling of Mueller as FBI director. These videos are well worth a look to give you the details–as well as the general idea–of what I’m talking about…

Gohmert Challenges FBI Director About the Purging of Training Material:

FBI Director Unaware Boston Mosque Founded By al Qaeda Funder:

GOP’er Louie Gohmert And FBI’s Robert Mueller Explode Over Investigation Into Boston Bombers:

***

Also see:

Muslim Brotherhood (NAIT) Directly Confronts President of the United States

Understanding the Threat, by John Guandolo, March  20, 2017:

In response to President Trump’s second Executive Order designed to keep individuals from hostile nations from entering the United States, the Attorney General of Hawaii announced he will file suit against the Trump administration.  The plaintiff listed in Hawaii’s lawsuit is Dr. Ismail Elshikh, the Imam of the Muslim Association of Hawaii.

The Muslim Association of Hawaii is a Muslim Brotherhood organization, which means the Muslim Brotherhood is directly confronting the President of the United States and challenging his authority.

The address of the Muslim Association of Hawaii is 1935 Aleo Place, Honolulu, Hawaii.  The property records for Honolulu reveal this property is owned by the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) – the bank for the Muslim Brotherhood in North America.  You can search the address HERE for yourself.

NAIT was created in 1973 by the Muslim Brotherhood’s Muslim Students Association per their own website.

A declassified document from the FBI’s Indianapolis office dated December 15, 1987 states:

“The North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) was organized by the leaders of the Muslim Students Association of the United States and Canada (MSA) in 1973 as the parent organization of various Muslim groups in the U.S. and Canada.  The leadership of NAIT, MSA and other Muslim groups are inter-related with many leaders and members of NAIT having been identified as supporters of the Islamic Revolution as advocated by the Government of Iran (GOI).  Their support of JIHAD (a holy war) in the U.S. has been evidenced by the financial and organizational support provided through NAIT from Middle East countries to Muslims residing in the U.S. and Canada.”

A declassified FBI confidential informant (CI) report dated 8/17/1988, details the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in the United States at the time and states: “(CI) advised that in addition to the internal political structure and organization of NAIT as controlled by the IIIT leadership that as members of the IKHWAN they are involved in organizing external political support which involves influencing both public opinion in the United States as well as the United States Government.  (CI) has advised that the Ikhwan is a secret Muslim organization that has unlimited funds and is extremely well organized in the United States to the point where it has set up political action front groups with no traceable ties to the IIIT or its various Muslim groups. They also have claimed success in infiltrating the United States government…the IIIT leadership has indicated that in this phase their organization needs to peacefully get inside the United States Government and also American universities. (CI) noted that the ultimate goal of the Islamic Revolution is the overthrow of all non-Islamic governments and that violence is a tool…”

Evidence entered in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, Dallas, 2008) – 15 year FBI investigation – identified the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT) as a member of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood which directly funded Hamas (TERRORISTS) leaders and organizations.

On the last page of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s strategic document (An Explanatory Memorandum), the MB identifies NAIT as one of their organizations.

The stated objective of the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States is to wage civilization jihad “by OUR hands” to overthrow our government and replace it with an Islamic government ruled by sharia – Islamic law.  See “An Explanatory Memorandum” page 7 of 18.

The US v HLF evidence revealed that all of the prominent Islamic organizations in America are a part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Movement here, including NAIT.

NAIT’s financial records – entered into evidence at the HLF trial – reveal NAIT directly funds Hamas leaders and Hamas, a designated terrorist organization.  See the records here and here.

Children trained by Hamas. NAIT directly funded Hamas and Hamas leaders.

Because of the massive evidence revealing NAIT is a Muslim Brotherhood organization which directly funds terrorism, the U.S. Department of Justice lists NAIT as an Unindicted Co-Conspirator in the largest terrorism financing and Hamas trial ever successfully prosecuted in American history (US v HLF).  See the Unindicted Co-Conspirator list here.  NAIT is listed on Page 8, paragraph VII.

Being named an “Unindicted Co-Conspirator” means the government has enough evidence to indict but decides not to at that time.  In fact, after the HLF trial ended in November of 2008, the Department of Justice moved forward to prosecute the founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and CAIR itself, but after approximately six months, that effort was shut down by Attorney General Eric Holder and since that time none of the hundreds of unindicted co-conspirators have been prosecuted by the Department of Justice.

In response to NAIT’s request to the court to have its name removed from the unindicted co-conspirator list, the Department of Justice filed a memorandum in which it states (page 13):

“ISNA and NAIT, in fact, shared more with the HLF than just a parent organization.  They were intimately connected with the HLF and its assigned task of providing financial support to Hamas.”

The “parent organization” to which the U.S. government is referring is the Muslim Brotherhood.

In ruling on the matter, Federal Judge Jorge Solis listed key evidence, and ruled:

“The Government has produced ample evidence to establish the associations of CAIR, ISNA and NAIT with the HLF, the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), and with Hamas.”

HLF and IAP were Hamas (TERRORIST) organizations.  This ruling declares NAIT is directly associated with the terrorist organization Hamas headquarters overseas and its front organizations in the United States.

It should be noted, Hamas is an inherent part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Muslim Association of Hawaii is a NAIT property.  The leader of this organization, Dr. Ismail Elshikh, has led several other Muslim Brotherhood organizations and would not hold those positions if he himself were not a Muslim Brother.

The Department of Justice should indict NAIT and the affiliated Muslim Brotherhood Islamic Centers, mosques and other organizations, arrest all Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the United States, legally seize all NAIT and Muslim Brotherhood property, and utterly dismantle their jihadi network.

If this offensive assault by the Muslim Brotherhood against the President of the United States and his effort to secure our nation and keep our enemies out is not met with significant force by the U.S. government, the Muslim Brotherhood will view this as more weakness and push harder and more violently in the coming months.

‘Explanatory Memorandum’ Detractors Ignore Evidence About MB in America

mb2by John Rossomando
IPT News
March 1, 2017

Some supposedly very smart, well-informed people are making ignorant and misleading claims in the debate over designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

The Trump administration is considering designating the nearly 90-year-old Brotherhood, which seeks a global Islamic state governed by religious law known as shariah.

Reasonable people can debate the merits. But a recent Washington Post column by Arjun Singh Sethi, an adjunct Georgetown University law professor, illustrates the way false information is being pushed by some opponents.

Designation would be “exploited and manipulated for political gain” and used to target otherwise innocent Muslim American groups, Sethi argues. It would be all the more outrageous because, “The Brotherhood doesn’t have a known presence in the U.S., most Muslim Americans know very little about it and no organization active in the U.S. has been shown to have any connection to it.”

This is entirely wrong, and there are Muslim Brotherhood documents in the public domain to prove it.

Sethi takes aim at one of those documents, a 1991 “Explanatory Memorandum” which calls for a “Civilization-Jihadist Process” whereby Brotherhood members in America work toward “destroying the Western civilization from within.” The memorandum also suggests that Islam represents a “civilization alternative.”

“This memorandum, of which there is only one known copy, has been widely discredited and called a fantasy,” Sethi writes.

That one copy, however, was seized by FBI agents from the home of Ismail Elbarasse, whom prosecutors describe as the “archivist” for the Muslim Brotherhood in America. If it was a fantasy, it was deemed sufficiently exciting to preserve. In addition, its author played a prominent role in the Brotherhood’s U.S. network.

Sethi mentions none of these facts. Neither do the Southern Poverty Law Center or the left-leaning commentary website Alternet, which cited Sethi’s column to dismiss those who point to Muslim Brotherhood fronts in the United States as “conspiracy theorists.”

Sethi further claims there is no evidence to show that “three of the largest Muslim organizations in the country — the Islamic Society of North America [ISNA], the Council on American Islamic Relations [CAIR] and the North American Islamic Trust [NAIT] — are affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood” except for the explanatory memo.

This statement also is objectively, demonstrably false.

The explanatory memo, like most of the information known about a Muslim Brotherhood network in the United States, became public during the 2007 and 2008 Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF) Hamas-financing trials held in Dallas. FBI agents seized a trove of internal documents – meeting minutes, reports and proposals – written by Muslim Brotherhood members in the United States. In addition, electronic surveillance picked up hundreds of conversations among Brotherhood conspirators.

Their task at the time was to run a series of political groups with the aim of benefiting Hamas – the Brotherhood’s Palestinian branch – politically and financially. They united under the umbrella of the “Palestine Committee.”

In court papers, federal prosecutors noted that the Holy Land trial included “numerous exhibits … establishing both ISNA’s and NAIT’s intimate relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the Palestine Committee, and the defendants in this case.”

NAIT, a subsidiary of ISNA, served as a banking outlet for HLF’s fundraising.

“HLF raised money and supported HAMAS through a bank account it held with ISNA at NAIT…,” prosecutors wrote in 2008, citing financial records admitted into evidence. “ISNA checks deposited into the ISNA/NAIT account for the HLF were often made payable to ‘the Palestinian Mujahadeen,’ the original name for the HAMAS military wing.”

CAIR, meanwhile, is listed among the Palestine Committee’s own entities. CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad is included on a committee roster and participated in at least one significant Palestine Committee meeting.

Other groups attracted law enforcement scrutiny due to their Muslim Brotherhood ties. The International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), for example, emerged from a 1977 meeting of Muslim Brotherhood luminaries from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, according to Growth of Islamic Thought in North America: Focus on Ism’ail Raji al Faruqi, written by Muhammad Shafiq, IIIT chair of Interfaith Studies at Nazareth College in Rochester, N.Y.

A 1988 FBI report, obtained by the Investigative Project through a Freedom of Information Act request, identifies ISNA, NAIT and IIIT officials as “members and leaders of the Ikhwan [Brotherhood].”

The FBI document summarizes an interview with an unnamed source who notes that “all Muslim organizations founded under the direction of the IIIT leadership have been organized … in ‘the Ikhwan model,'” with the aim of recruiting support for an Islamic revolution in the U.S.

“… [H]istoricaIIy members of the MSA and subsequently NAIT, ISNA and the IIIT have been IKHWAN members,” the FBI document says.

In sum, FBI investigations and internal Muslim Brotherhood documents establish that, despite Sethi’s assertion to the contrary, there is ample evidence linking ISNA, NAIT and CAIR to the Muslim Brotherhood.

His dismissal of the explanatory memo is similarly misguided.

Its author, Mohamed Akram, played a prominent role on the Palestine Committee, identified in an internal 1991 document as the Central Committee secretary. He sat on the group’s “Central Committee” with Hamas political leader Mousa abu Marzook.

Akram’s name also appears immediately following Marzook’s name on the Palestine Committee’s internal telephone. In 1990, Akram reported on projects for the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s board of directors known as the Majlis al-Shura. The Shura councils in various countries all “report directly to the IMB [international Muslim Brotherhood]’s leadership,” a 2010 Department of Justice affidavit filed in a deportation case said.

Meanwhile, the Brotherhood maintains supporters in the United States. The IPT documented the connections between old Palestine Committee entities and the anti-Israel group American Muslims for Palestine.

And members of Egyptian Americans for Freedom and Justice (EAFJ) and Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights (EADHR) openly display their Brotherhood loyalties on Facebook. EAFJ founding board member Hani Elkadi posted a cartoon of a man holding a sign with the Brotherhood logo and the words which translate to, “I am [Muslim] Brotherhood and I’m not threatened.”

Memo’s Ambitions Weren’t New

Sethi is not the first to try to discredit the explanatory memo., The Bridge Initiative, an arm of Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, argued a year ago that the document was merely “one man’s utopian vision.”

“If it occupied a central place in a Muslim movement to take over America, one would think his supporters would have taken up his idea and spread it in popular and academic circles. But that’s not so,” the Bridge Initiative Team wrote.

It’s a sweeping assertion. And it’s not true. The Brotherhood has a multi-generational plan for establishing a global Islamic state. Its U.S.-based followers have repeatedly detailed their ideas for making it so.

The 1988 FBI FOIA document describes a “six phase … plan to institute Islamic Revolution in the United States” to be executed in part by the IIIT.

The scheme was rooted in a 1983 book called “The Muslim Brotherhood.” Like the “Explanatory Memorandum,” the book emphasizes institution building and Muslim evangelization (dawah) as a prelude for jihad.

“We want to make the whole world bow before the word of Allah, author Saeed Hawwa wrote. “The command of Allah is: ‘And fight with them till no mischief remains, and the religion is all for Allah.'”

Coincidentally, Akram mentions “six elements” of a general strategic plan adopted by the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura council in 1987 in the “Explanatory Memorandum.” The memorandum likewise aimed to unify and direct Muslim efforts to present Islam as a “civilization alternative.”

IIIT publications still denigrate Western civilization in the name of Islam.

The “problems and challenges faced by Western civilization in the contemporary era no longer find solutions on the social and economic levels of Western civilization,” Adel Husein wrote in a 2013 IIIT paper. He suggests that Islam offers the solution: “Great revolutions are usually fueled by a solid doctrine, and Islam, in particular, embodies such a doctrine.”

Officials with other American Islamist groups advocate ideas similar to Akram’s.

Shamim Siddiqi, a past dawah director for the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) similarly offered Islam as the solution. (Siddiqi remains recommended reading for ICNA members.)

In his 1989 book, The Methodology of Dawah, Siddiqi argues that Islam should be made “dominant in the USA” through the work of Muslim organizations. Muslims should help Americans view Islam as “an alternate way of life” for the problems of the day, Siddiqi wrote in his 1996 book, The Revival. Evangelizing the American intelligentsia will result in a “demand for an Islamic society and state,” he wrote.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s ultimate goal is a global Islamic State, one that includes the United States. FBI agents have interviewed people with direct knowledge of those efforts and seized internal documents of a network engaged in the slow work of realizing that dream.

Those who dismiss the explanatory memorandum as one man’s fantasy either never bothered to look for corroborating evidence, or they know better and hope to fool the American people.

Also see:

A Last, Desperate Plea to Excuse Hamas Support

hamas-pleaIPT NewsJanuary 12, 2017:

As President Obama’s tenure reaches its final days, Islamists in the United States are waging a furious lobbying campaign aimed at securing the freedom of five men convicted of illegally routing millions of dollars to Hamas.

An open campaign urges the president to pardon five former officials from the defunct, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), casting them as victims of “anti-Muslim hysteria” triggered by the 9/11 attacks. In 2008, a jury convicted the five – Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammed El-Mezain, Abdulrahman Odeh and Mufid Abdulqader – of using a network of Palestinian charities controlled by Hamas to funneling money to the terrorist group.

It is not clear whether the requests to pardon the five, or to commute their sentences and release them from prison, is being considered seriously. Obama’s pardons thus far involved somewhat less serious crimes including fraud, embezzlement and non-violent drug offenses.

But advocates are pushing social media campaigns and online petitions aimed at securing a pardon, or, short of that, a commutation of the five men’s sentences to set them free. The campaign also has enlisted support from at least one member of Congress.

Left unspoken is an undeniable truth behind the pardon/commutation campaign, and behind any ongoing defense of the Holy Land Foundation: Advocates do not believe Hamas support is wrong.

The Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is leading the charge, supported by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and pro-Palestinian groups.

CAIR’s appeal provided a White House switchboard number for supporters to call and request commutations. Some sites even include contact information for key members of Congress, urging supporters to emphasize the “cruelly disproportionate” length of sentences – from a low of 15 years for El-Mezain, to 65-year terms for Baker and Elashi.

CAIR’s Arizona director Imraan Siddiqi described the prosecution as “a political lynching of charity workers … Its effects still haunt American Muslims.”

After reviewing the entire record in 2011, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals saw it quite differently.

Pleas from the MLFA and Siddiqi ignore the exhibits – many of them internal HLF and related documents – showing the family ties between some defendants and Hamas leaders, a reliance on Hamas officials to speak at HLF fundraisers along with other, consistent pro-Hamas messages.

In addition, records show, HLF (formerly known as the Occupied Land Fund) was part of a network called the “Palestine Committee” in the United States. That committee answered to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s mandate that global chapters create “Palestine Committees” in their home countries. Their task was “to support Hamas from abroad,” the Fifth Circuit noted in upholding the convictions and sentences. In the United States, that task fell in part to Hamas political leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who helped create HLF and two other branches – a propaganda wing known as the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and a think-tank called the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR).

CAIR was added to the Palestine Committee after its 1994 founding.

“The evidence showed that the long-standing connection between HLF and Hamas began in the late 1980s when HLF arose as a fundraising arm for the Palestine Committee …” the appeals court ruling said. “This fact was notably evident from the … [internal Palestine Committee] documents, which showed that HLF was created along with the IAP.” In addition, Palestine Committee bylaws “specifically recognized HLF as ‘the official organization for fundraising.'”

HLF apologists claim the group was merely interested in helping needy widows and orphans. But, the court pointed out, the orphans included Yehia Ayyash’s children. Ayyash was Hamas’s top bomb maker, nicknamed “The Engineer,” before being killed by Israel.

“An audio tape from 1996 that was seized from HLF’s offices contained songs praising Hamas and discussions of suicide bombers as heroes,” the ruling said.

“We believe that a jury could not help but infer from the above evidence that the defendants had a close association with Hamas and that HLF acted to fund Hamas both before and after Hamas’s designation as a terrorist organization.”

Still, CAIR’s Texas chapter called the five convicted HLF officials “humanitarians,” and described their imprisonment as “an immense wrong.” It cited defense attorney Nancy Hollander’s claim that there was no evidence showing her client, HLF executive director Shukri Abu Baker, breaking the law. “Not a word from his lips that he hated Jews. Not a word from his lips that he supported Hamas. These were fictions,” Hollander said.

1933That cannot be said for Mufid Abdulqader, who performed and acted in a singing troupe that helped raise money for HLF at IAP events. In this video, admitted into evidence during the 2008 trial, he is shown wearing camouflage and a kaffiyeh as he sings, “I am Hamas, O dear ones … I swear to wipe out the name of the Zionist. And protect my land, Palestine.” Then, he pretends to strangle an actor portraying an Israeli.

Hollander failed to mention that Baker ran HLF and was responsible for who spoke and what was said at its fundraisers. Those events routinely featured Hamas leaders and activists. She also neglected to mention her client’s participation in a secret 1993 Philadelphia gathering of Hamas members and supporters who schemed about how to “derail” the U.S.-brokered Oslo peace accord without coming off looking like terror supporters.

It was Baker who set a key ground rule for the talks, which were secretly recorded and translated by the FBI: No one should mention Hamas by name, he instructed. Instead, call it “Sister Samah,” which is Hamas spelled backward.

The gathering, Baker said, was “a joint workshop between the Holy Land Foundation and the IAP.” Participants should not mention Hamas by name.

Hollander then compared the HLF case – brought against a handful of men with documented and recorded connections to Hamas – to the mass internment of 117,000 Japanese American men, women and children during World War II.

The current campaign would settle for a sentencing commutation, essentially freeing the men on time served. The sentences, from 15 to 65 years in prison, were overly harsh, advocates say.

But the Fifth Circuit had considered this, too, rejecting defense department arguments. Its ruling noted that the probation office’s presentence recommendations included significant terrorism enhancements because HLF gave money to Hamas “in order to rid Palestine of the Jewish people through violent jihad, HAMAS’ mission.”

It added that “the trial was replete with evidence to satisfy application of the terrorism enhancement because of the defendants’ intent to support Hamas. The Hamas charter clearly delineated the goal of meeting the Palestinian/Israeli conflict with violent jihad and the rejection of peace efforts and compromise solutions. The defendants knew that they were supporting Hamas, as there was voluminous evidence showing their close ties to the Hamas movement.”

Those claiming the HLF defendants suffered an injustice, or that they somehow deserve relief, lie about this record or pretend it does not exist. To acknowledge reality is to shatter their own argument, or to come clean about their true feelings about Hamas terrorism. They know that’s a losing hand. It’s something Shukri Abu Baker talked about in that 1993 Philadelphia meeting.

They need to mislead people if they are going to be successful, Baker said.

“War is deception,” he said. “Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you’re leaving while you’re walking that way … Deceive your enemy.”

Muslim Brotherhood Front Organizations, U.S. and Canada

Gatestone Institute, by Thomas Quiggin, January 31, 2017:

  • The 2008 Holy Land Relief terrorism funding criminal trial resulted in multiple convictions and was touted as the one of the largest terrorism financing trials in American history. Expectations were high that the 2008 trial would be followed by further trials involving the listed unindicted co-conspirators such as CAIR USA and the Islamic Society of North America.
  • However, with the appointment of Eric Holder as the U.S. Attorney General in 2009, all further actions on this file appear to have been frozen. Holder would later speak at a conference supporting one of the unindicted co-conspirators.
  • It is not clear if the ongoing criminal investigation focuses only on those individuals leading IRFAN at the time of its delisting as a charity and listing as a terrorism entity, or if the investigation also includes those who helped found IRFAN. This may be an important distinction, as the Canada Revenue Agency stated that IRFAN was deliberately created and designed to circumvent Canadian terrorism-funding rules.
  • It appears possible that the Trump Administration will crack down on Islamist extremist groups in the USA. This would likely have a spill-over effect into Canada and Europe, though greater attention to border security and issues of funding terrorism.

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz last week submitted legislation to designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a Terrorist Organization.

Cruz (R-TX) earlier had a bill in the Senate which would not only ban the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. but also three of its front groups: Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) USA, Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). These American-based front groups have corresponding chapters or organizations in Canada as well.

Muslim Brotherhood front organizations and their members have an ongoing problem with criminal activity, terrorism-funding activities and overall negative relations with legal authorities. These problems range from being listed as terrorist groups, being charged for weapons possession and an even an arrest for alleged sexual charges involving a 12-year-old girl. Several of the charges are consistent with the extremist nature of the Muslim Brotherhood itself, given its commitment to violent political change. Both criminal investigations and terrorism listings in North America, for instance, have been directly related to terrorism funding for Hamas, itself a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The emblem of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its founder, Hassan al-Banna.

The future is also uncertain for a variety of groups and individuals related to the criminal trials surrounding the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, formerly known as the Occupied Land Fund. The 2008 criminal trial resulted in multiple convictions and was touted as the one of the largest terrorism financing trials in American history. Expectations were high that the 2008 trial would be followed by further trials involving the listed unindicted co-conspirators such as CAIR USA and the Islamic Society of North America. However, with the appointment of Eric Holder as the Attorney General of the United States in 2009, all further actions on this file appear to have been frozen. Holder would later speak at a conference supporting one of the unindicted co-conspirators. It is not yet clear if the next U.S. Attorney General will direct that the files be re-activated.

CAIR USA has been repeatedly identified as a Muslim Brotherhood front organization. It was listed as a Muslim Brotherhood front organization and as a terrorism entity by the United Arab Emirates in 2014. CAIR USA employees and former employees have a rather dubious history of criminal activity. Among those CAIR USA employees charged with criminal offences or deported have been Randall Ismail Royer (weapons and explosive charges), Bassam Khafagi (bank and visa fraud), Ghassan Elashi (terrorism financing of Hamas), and Nabil Sadoun (deported for ties to terrorist groups). Other members and fund-raisers for CAIR USA have also been charged.

In Canada, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigation (Project Sapphire) into the International Relief Fund for the Afflicted and Needy (IRFAN) continues. IRFAN was one of four Muslim Brotherhood front groups identified during testimony to the Canadian Senate in 2015. The others were Islamic Relief Canada, the Muslim Association of Canada and the National Council of Canadian Muslims, formerly known as CAIR CAN. CAIR CAN, according to the U.S. State Department and a multiplicity of other sources, is the Canadian chapter of CAIR USA.

IRFAN had its charitable status revoked for funding terrorism in 2011 and was subsequently listed as a terrorism entity by the Government of Canada in 2014. It is not clear if the ongoing criminal investigation focuses only on those individuals leading IRFAN at the time of its delisting as a charity and listing as a terrorism entity, or if the investigation also includes those who helped found IRFAN. This may be an important distinction, as the Canada Revenue Agency stated that IRFAN was deliberately created and designed to circumvent Canadian terrorism-funding rules.

Another of the four front groups, the Muslim Association of Canada (MAC), also made the news in 2015. At that point, it was alleged that IRFAN continued to received funding from the Muslim Association of Canada even after IRFAN had its charitable status revoked for funding terrorism in 2011. This information came from an RCMP search warrant that was used to raid IRFAN premises in Mississauga and Montreal. In addition to funding issues, the MAC and IRFAN are connected to each other through common board members and their association to Hamas. IRFAN was funding Hamas and the MAC is one of only two organizations outside of Egypt that openly states it is a Muslim Brotherhood adherent group.

The Islamic Society of North America (Canadian Chapter) has also had its problems. Along with a variety of internal fraud issues, the ISNA Development Fund had the charitable status of its “Development Fund” revoked for terrorism funding. The terrorism-funding money in question was sent to the Relief Organization for Kashmiri Muslims (ROKM) with the ultimate aim of supporting Jamaat-e-Islami, widely known as the Muslim Brotherhood’s sister group in south Asia.

The Muslim Student Association

Another group, the Muslim Student Association (MSA) of the United States and Canada was established in January 1963 by members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus. Its creation was the result of Saudi-backed efforts to create a network of international Islamic organizations in order to spread its Wahhabist ideology. It was essentially “an arm of the Saudi-funded, Muslim Brotherhood-controlled Muslim World League.”

The following individuals have all been identified as members of the MSA at a variety universities in Canada. They have all been either charged with terrorism offences or died as suicide bombers at the behest of ISIS:

  • Ahmed Sayed Khadr from the University of Ottawa. Khadr was killed on October 2, 2003, along with al-Qaeda and Taliban members, in a shootout by Pakistani security forces near the Afghanistan border. An al-Qaeda website profiling “120 Martyrs of Afghanistan” described him as a leader in Bin Laden’s organization and praised him for “tossing his little child [Omar] in the furnace of the battle.”
  • Chiheb Esseghaier was convicted in 2015 for his role in the attempted bombing of a cross-border VIA Rail train.
  • Khadar Khalib has been charged with terrorism-related offenses and is believed to have killed in Syria while fighting for ISIS.
  • Awso Peshdary, born in Ottawa, was arrested in February 2015 as part of operation “Project Servant” by the RCMP Integrated National Security Enforcement Team. He was charged with participation in the activity of a terrorist group.
  • John “Yahya” Maguire was also born in the Ottawa area, but went off to Syria and become infamous for his ISIS recruiting video. He has also been charged with terrorism offences in absentia.
  • Youssef Sakhir, Samir Halilovic and Zakria Habibi are/were from Sherbrooke Quebec, but are now listed as missing and believed to be fighting in Syria.
  • Muhannad al-Farekh, Farid Imam and Maiwand Yar have all had charges laid against them for terrorism-related offences. Their whereabouts are unknown, but they may be in Pakistan.
  • Calgary suicide bomber Salma Ashrafi was the President of his Muslim Student Association before dying in a suicide bombing in Iraq.

Chiheb Battikh and the Muslim Association of Canada

In December 2012, Chiheb Battikh of Montreal attempted to kidnap the son of a billionaire and hold him for ransom. The Tunisian-Canadian was identified by the Tunis Tribune as being “close to Ennahda” or the Muslim Brotherhood. The French language Journal de Montréal did a five-page story on him following his conviction. Among the issues raised by the paper was Battikh’s long time position on the board of directors for the Muslim Association of Canada as well as his position as the director of education for them. The issue of whether the kidnapping was intended to help fund the new Canadian Institute of Islamic Civilization was raised as well. Battikh had been in charge of that fundraising effort and the project had been in trouble.

The Trump Administration

Some of President-elect Donald J. Trump’s advisors have strong views on the Muslim Brotherhood. Included among these are Walid Phares, who favors banning the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. Other advisors include Frank Gaffney, and Pieter “Pete” Hoekstra, both of whom are well acquainted with Muslim Brotherhood activities

Outlook

A variety of Muslim Brotherhood front groups have drawn attention to themselves through terrorism funding and other forms of alleged criminal behavior. CAIR USA (and others) have also been involved in lawfare — suing critics to silence them. Altogether, this activity and their own allegedly criminal actions have drawn greater attention to them and increased, rather than decreased, the amount of research done on them. With the rising, often Islamist-inspired, violence in Europe, the Middle East and South East Asia, more attention will be drawn to the sources of the extremism that are producing and funding terrorism.

It appears possible that a Trump Administration will crack down on Islamist extremist groups in the USA. It also appears probable that this will have a spill-over effect into Canada and Europe though greater attention to border security and issues of funding terrorism. These groups, which have already drawn attention to themselves, may start feeling the heat sooner rather than later.

Also see:

Because Nothing Says ‘I CAIR’ Like a Pardon

cair-pleaNational Review, by Andrew C. McCarthy, January 18, 2017:

Thinking about what else could happen in the next 48 hours?

The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that CAIR (the Council on America-Islamic Relations) is leading a furious lobbying campaign by Islamists in the U.S. to persuade President Obama to free the five Hamas operatives convicted in the Holy Land Foundation case.

Isn’t that rich?

The HLF prosecution is the most significant terrorism financing case the Justice Department has ever done. Hamas, a designated terrorist organization under federal law, is the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. In the HLF case, the government proved not only that leading Islamist organizations in America were helping the Brotherhood transmit millions of dollars overseas to Hamas; prosecutors further demonstrated – using the Brotherhood’s own internal memoranda – that the Brotherhood saw its mission in the United States as “a grand jihad to eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within.”

In this grand jihad, the Brotherhood was in cahoots with these leading Islamist organizations, many of which had roots in the Brotherhood. One of these was … CAIR.

Indeed, Hamas and Brotherhood activists created CAIR in 1993-94 because they realized they needed an organization with legal know-how and media polish to advance the Islamist agenda. Having studied the United States (in a way that we resist studying radical Islam), they also realized that if they labeled their new creation a Muslim “civil rights” organization, the media would play along – CAIR would be lauded as a social justice warrior rather than revealed as a jihadist mouthpiece.

So CAIR was shown to be an unindicted co-conspirator in the HLF case. After the convictions of the five HLF officials in 2008, however, the incoming Obama administration opted against prosecuting CAIR and the other Islamist organizations that had assisted the conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization. In fact, early in his administration, Obama proclaimed his commitment “to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat.”

As I explained at the time, zakat is often misleadingly translated as “charitable giving” by commentators and government officials. Actually, it is the fortification of the ummah (the notional worldwide Muslim community). Under classic sharia, zakat may only be contributed to Muslims. There are eight categories of permissible zakat recipients; one is Muslims who are fighting in jihad operations. (See the ancient sharia manual Reliance of the Traveller, sec. h8.17: “Zakat: The seventh category is those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster[.]”)

I assume the president was simply uninformed about Islamic law – although this is Obama we’re talking about, so maybe it’s that he figures he knows more about how it should be construed than anyone on earth, including those who’ve spent their lives immersed in it. But Islamists would interpret his stated commitment to “ensure that they can fulfill zakat” as ensuring that they could do what the HLF defendants were convicted of doing: providing material support to terrorists. To Islamists, the five HLF convicts have been stuck serving between 15- and 65-year prison sentences for something they believe Obama has said should not be a crime in the first place.

Following the HLF convictions, it was reported that the Obama Justice Department had blocked prosecutions against a top CAIR official and leaders of other Brotherhood-tied organizations.

And now CAIR is pushing for the HLF defendants to be released from their very lengthy sentences. The Islamists’ narrative, as the Investigative Project explains, is that these Hamas operatives are really victims of, yes, “anti-Muslim hysteria.”

It’s a shrewd campaign. The Obama administration has been wholesale onboard the anti-anti-jihad bandwagon since day-one, and it often spouts the anti-Muslim hysteria party line. The administration has championed the Muslim Brotherhood; worked with Islamist governments to restrict American free speech rights (regarding criticism of Islam); armed and trained militias in Libya and Syria that were threaded with jihadists; and colluded with the Islamist government of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan – a Muslim Brotherhood backer who is among the world’s leading supporters of Hamas. As illustrated by the administration’s shameful orchestration last month of an anti-Israel resolution at the U.N. Security Council, Obama is sympathetic to the hard left’s view that Palestinian terrorists are not really terrorists – they are members of “political organizations” whose regrettable brutality is best understood as “resistance” to “occupation.”

If he were to release the Hamas convicts from the HLF case, Obama would (again) be a hero to both Islamists and leftists. He would simultaneously enrage national-security conservatives in the United States and the Israeli government.

In other words, he’d be doing what he’s done for eight years.

Also see:

A Last, Desperate Plea to Excuse Hamas Support

cair-plea

IPT News
January 12, 2017

As President Obama’s tenure reaches its final days, Islamists in the United States are waging a furious lobbying campaign aimed at securing the freedom of five men convicted of illegally routing millions of dollars to Hamas.

An open campaign urges the president to pardon five former officials from the defunct, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF), casting them as victims of “anti-Muslim hysteria” triggered by the 9/11 attacks. In 2008, a jury convicted the five – Shukri Abu Baker, Ghassan Elashi, Mohammed El-Mezain, Abdulrahman Odeh and Mufid Abdulqader – of using a network of Palestinian charities controlled by Hamas to funneling money to the terrorist group.

It is not clear whether the requests to pardon the five, or to commute their sentences and release them from prison, is being considered seriously. Obama’s pardons thus far involved somewhat less serious crimes including fraud, embezzlement and non-violent drug offenses.

But advocates are pushing social media campaigns and online petitions aimed at securing a pardon, or, short of that, a commutation of the five men’s sentences to set them free. The campaign also has enlisted support from at least one member of Congress.

Left unspoken is an undeniable truth behind the pardon/commutation campaign, and behind any ongoing defense of the Holy Land Foundation: Advocates do not believe Hamas support is wrong.

The Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) is leading the charge, supported by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and pro-Palestinian groups.

CAIR’s appeal provided a White House switchboard number for supporters to call and request commutations. Some sites even include contact information for key members of Congress, urging supporters to emphasize the “cruelly disproportionate” length of sentences – from a low of 15 years for El-Mezain, to 65-year terms for Baker and Elashi.

CAIR’s Arizona director Imraan Siddiqui described the prosecution as “a political lynching of charity workers … Its effects still haunt American Muslims.”

After reviewing the entire record in 2011, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals saw it quite differently.

Pleas from the MLFA and Siddiqi ignore the exhibits – many of them internal HLF and related documents – showing the family ties between some defendants and Hamas leaders, a reliance on Hamas officials to speak at HLF fundraisers along with other, consistent pro-Hamas messages.

In addition, records show, HLF (formerly known as the Occupied Land Fund) was part of a network called the “Palestine Committee” in the United States. That committee answered to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s mandate that global chapters create “Palestine Committees” in their home countries. Their task was “to support Hamas from abroad,” the Fifth Circuit noted in upholding the convictions and sentences. In the United States, that task fell in part to Hamas political leader Mousa Abu Marzook, who helped create HLF and two other branches – a propaganda wing known as the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP) and a think-tank called the United Association for Studies and Research (UASR).

CAIR was added to the Palestine Committee after its 1994 founding.

“The evidence showed that the long-standing connection between HLF and Hamas began in the late 1980s when HLF arose as a fundraising arm for the Palestine Committee …” the appeals court ruling said. “This fact was notably evident from the … [internal Palestine Committee] documents, which showed that HLF was created along with the IAP.” In addition, Palestine Committee bylaws “specifically recognized HLF as ‘the official organization for fundraising.'”

HLF apologists claim the group was merely interested in helping needy widows and orphans. But, the court pointed out, the orphans included Yehia Ayyash’s children. Ayyash was Hamas’s top bomb maker, nicknamed “The Engineer,” before being killed by Israel.

“An audio tape from 1996 that was seized from HLF’s offices contained songs praising Hamas and discussions of suicide bombers as heroes,” the ruling said.

“We believe that a jury could not help but infer from the above evidence that the defendants had a close association with Hamas and that HLF acted to fund Hamas both before and after Hamas’s designation as a terrorist organization.”

Still, CAIR’s Texas chapter called the five convicted HLF officials “humanitarians,” and described their imprisonment as “an immense wrong.” It cited defense attorney Nancy Hollander’s claim that there was no evidence showing her client, HLF executive director Shukri Abu Baker, breaking the law. “Not a word from his lips that he hated Jews. Not a word from his lips that he supported Hamas. These were fictions,” Hollander said.

That cannot be said for Mufid Abdulqader, who performed and acted in a singing troupe that helped raise money for HLF at IAP events. In this video, admitted into evidence during the 2008 trial, he is shown wearing camouflage and a kaffiyeh as he sings, “I am Hamas, O dear ones … I swear to wipe out the name of the Zionist. And protect my land, Palestine.” Then, he pretends to strangle an actor portraying an Israeli.

Hollander failed to mention that Baker ran HLF and was responsible for who spoke and what was said at its fundraisers. Those events routinely featured Hamas leaders and activists. She also neglected to mention her client’s participation in a secret 1993 Philadelphia gathering of Hamas members and supporters who schemed about how to “derail” the U.S.-brokered Oslo peace accord without coming off looking like terror supporters.

It was Baker who set a key ground rule for the talks, which were secretly recorded and translated by the FBI: No one should mention Hamas by name, he instructed. Instead, call it “Sister Samah,” which is Hamas spelled backward.

The gathering, Baker said, was “a joint workshop between the Holy Land Foundation and the IAP.” Participants should not mention Hamas by name.

Hollander then compared the HLF case – brought against a handful of men with documented and recorded connections to Hamas – to the mass internment of 117,000 Japanese American men, women and children during World War II.

The current campaign would settle for a sentencing commutation, essentially freeing the men on time served. The sentences, from 15 to 65 years in prison, were overly harsh, advocates say.

But the Fifth Circuit had considered this, too, rejecting defense department arguments. Its ruling noted that the probation office’s presentence recommendations included significant terrorism enhancements because HLF gave money to Hamas “in order to rid Palestine of the Jewish people through violent jihad, HAMAS’ mission.”

It added that “the trial was replete with evidence to satisfy application of the terrorism enhancement because of the defendants’ intent to support Hamas. The Hamas charter clearly delineated the goal of meeting the Palestinian/Israeli conflict with violent jihad and the rejection of peace efforts and compromise solutions. The defendants knew that they were supporting Hamas, as there was voluminous evidence showing their close ties to the Hamas movement.”

Those claiming the HLF defendants suffered an injustice, or that they somehow deserve relief, lie about this record or pretend it does not exist. To acknowledge reality is to shatter their own argument, or to come clean about their true feelings about Hamas terrorism. They know that’s a losing hand. It’s something Shukri Abu Baker talked about in that 1993 Philadelphia meeting.

They need to mislead people if they are going to be successful, Baker said.

“War is deception,” he said. “Deceive, camouflage, pretend that you’re leaving while you’re walking that way … Deceive your enemy.”